Definition of song in English:

song

noun

  • 1A short poem or other set of words set to music or meant to be sung.

    • ‘You will be required to sing a short song of your choice and demonstrate your acting skills on the day.’
    • ‘She would mention a word and I would have to sing an Elvis song with that word in it.’
    • ‘It's shorter than a pop song on the radio and barely the length of a commercial TV break.’
    • ‘Music was dear to her heart and Delia had a fondness for Irish music and the old songs and ballads.’
    • ‘What she actually offers is a load of manufactured pop songs, sung in a slightly affected posh voice.’
    • ‘The idea for the book first came about when Mildred wrote a short song with the title words in it.’
    • ‘Many households bought parlour pianos and needed music and songs to play and sing.’
    • ‘The choir will be performing a range of different musical styles from show tunes and pop songs to church music.’
    • ‘They could all get up and sing a song or 10, and they all knew the songs and sang along!’
    • ‘The answer is probably that they have shunned the idea of writing short and sweet pop songs.’
    • ‘In fact, it is one of the most memorable pop songs in recent Australian music history.’
    • ‘The sheet music of the song leaves no doubt that Reg Bolton wrote the words, the music being composed by Jimmy Sutton.’
    • ‘Anyone wishing to sing a song or recite a poem are welcome to do so.’
    • ‘He'd love to form a band, impress the girls and sing pop songs in broken English.’
    • ‘A song's words, music tabulation and guitar chords are all as well-protected by copyright law as the sound recording they're heard in.’
    • ‘Some slaves even joined in her song by singing the words they knew.’
    • ‘Do a bit of exercising, sing a song, read a poem, watch a sunrise or water your garden.’
    • ‘A Swedish pop group sang a song about a battle that the English won.’
    • ‘He was always splendid with children and he would amuse them by singing songs from the opera and the music hall.’
    • ‘It used to be, even in pop music, that you sang a song of heartache to get it off your mind, to share with others so maybe you wouldn't hurt so much.’
    air, strain, ditty, melody, tune, popular song, pop song, number, track
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    1. 1.1 Singing or vocal music.
      ‘the young airmen broke into song’
      • ‘Yet something happens in the repetition of simple phrases put to song.’
      • ‘He had a taste for poetry and song, and he generally lived up to the chivalric code.’
      • ‘Slow music stared, and then Emmet broke into song with his sweet voice.’
      • ‘There was song, dance, poetry and recitations and prayers in thanksgiving for Bridgie's major recovery during the year.’
      • ‘They broke into song, Shakespearean renditions of a day in the life of an audience member, and even a flashback to Blade.’
      • ‘As the singer came out again, she broke into song, the band behind accompanying her svelte, smooth voice.’
      • ‘Poetry and song would be inadequate to tell what those two villages said to me during my growing.’
      • ‘But, neither of us was making any success with anything until Tae-Hyun broke into song.’
      • ‘The birds were in full song in the trees, busily making nests or feeding young.’
      • ‘Your audiences will appreciate those who have lived the life they share with you in their humor, poetry and song.’
      • ‘Harvey, who then broke into song and rendered the hymn, Never Get Weary, was quickly accompanied by the congregation.’
      • ‘A happy life after death coincided with fame here on earth, where people would remember you in poetry and song.’
      • ‘Music, song, story and recitation flowed, while caterers saw no one went without a drink and grub.’
      • ‘The people of Thembelihle, a new township on the outskirts of Lenasia in the far south, broke into song to welcome the mayor.’
      • ‘Some of the pan players broke into song, adding flair to the band's rendition as the pan sticks belted down the pulsating rhythms.’
      • ‘The concert will feature the Creagh family and friends, with poetry and song.’
      • ‘Cultural Industry's show is a triumph of theatre puppetry, mime, music and song over modern technology and effects.’
      • ‘Music, song, dance and recitation were the order of the night in Rathkeale.’
      • ‘The event will begin on Saturday evening in Newtown Church with an evening of music, song and recital.’
      • ‘The program of events also includes a parade, public address, folk dance, song, and poetry recitation.’
    2. 1.2 A musical composition suggestive of a song.
      • ‘He composed some 700 songs, which makes him one of the most prolific song composers since Schubert.’
      • ‘The song has three stanzas of six lines, carrying four stresses downbeats separated by upbeats.’
    3. 1.3 The musical phrases uttered by some birds, whales, and insects, typically forming a recognizable and repeated sequence and used chiefly for territorial defense or for attracting mates.
      • ‘We only took up birding in April and lack a great deal of fundamental knowledge of bird habitat, habits, and song.’
      • ‘Usually early migrants, the first ouzel's song echoes round the hills and the first birds fall prey to merlins and peregrines.’
      • ‘Science journalist David Baron reports on new research using information theory to codify the patterns of whale song.’
      • ‘And birds have a great advantage over all other animals: song.’
      • ‘Hooligans are not reformed by Mozart, so much as driven away by a noise that is as alien and hostile to their world as whale song to a camel herd.’
      • ‘Males attract mates using song, iridescent plumage and dramatic display flights.’
      • ‘Geographic variation in song among suboscine birds has been taken to indicate genetic divergence.’
      • ‘Males and females differ in plumage and song, produced in duets or separately.’
      • ‘Each species has its own distinct patterns of electric discharges that it uses to communicate, much like birds use song.’
      • ‘Chaffinches and cowbirds are not the only birds that teach song to their young.’
      • ‘Few studies have investigated any aspect of song in suboscine passerines.’
      • ‘Barn swallow song consists of sequences of various song types organized in bouts.’
      • ‘In Bolivia, in two square kilometers, in one week, he recognized 243 bird species just by song.’
      • ‘Learn how to use field marks, habitat, behavior, and song to identify birds.’
      • ‘The song can sound like hoots and whistles, in a repeating pattern similar to that of a mockingbird or thrasher.’
      • ‘This bird has a beautiful trilling song, but it is not delivered in the fall.’
      • ‘The Winter Wren is a tiny woodland bird whose song is as elaborate as its plumage is drab.’
      • ‘Why females should pay attention to male song when choosing mates is less well understood, however.’
      • ‘In dunnocks, females may use song to compete for males, and in the alpine accentor, females attract males by song.’
      • ‘He whistles, inexpertly trying to mimic the bird's song, then stops and grins.’
      call, calls, calling, chirp, chirps, chirping, cheep, cheeps, cheeping, peep, peeps, peeping, chirrup, chirrups, chirruping, warble, warbles, warbling, trill, trills, trilling, twitter, twittering, whistling, piping, birdsong
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    4. 1.4 A poem, especially one in rhymed stanzas.
      ‘The Song of Hiawatha’
      • ‘The song of the poet himself will reanimate the memory of Troy and rescue it from the dark tombs.’
      • ‘Now is come the last age of the song of Cumae; the great line of the centuries begins anew.’
      • ‘Pamphilia to Amphilanthus then closes with a series of four songs and nine sonnets.’
      • ‘Poetry in the early seventeenth century is not yet the song of the self.’
      • ‘The elegiac sonnet provides this opportunity for the poet, for it literally becomes a song of mourning.’
      • ‘This tribute to the continuing fecundity of the royal marriage reworks the earlier song of Amianteros, with its celebration of natural abundance.’
      • ‘Last of the song's three stanzas, it is suitable comment on the achievement of a dedicated scholar.’
      poem, piece of poetry, verse, ditty, ode, limerick, jingle, verse composition, metrical composition
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    5. 1.5archaic Poetry.
      • ‘The full text of the lyrical song is as follows.’

Phrases

  • for a song

    • informal Very cheaply.

      ‘the place was going for a song’
      • ‘All this excellence, of course, doesn't come for a song.’
      • ‘If you're looking for the perfect mix of antiquities and beaches on your next vacation and you want deluxe accommodations for a song, go to Egypt.’
      • ‘My sister and sister-in-law have adorned their homes with intriguing and beautiful pieces bought for a song at these market type events.’
      • ‘We have already sold proven oil fields for a song.’
      • ‘Instead, the way they are being sold for a song, it looks as if the government is intent on privatising profits and nationalising losses, they say.’
      • ‘In addition, while many MP3 files can be found cheaply on the Internet, MP3 gadgets don't go for a song.’
      • ‘The State went out on its own and did what it wanted to do, which was to take the Indian lands for a song.’
      • ‘Because of the FRA's ineptitude, growers have now resorted to selling their grain for a song as they have become desperate for cash.’
      • ‘It's what many landlords are doing, particularly those who choose to subvert the dire sales market and are renting out their homes, rather than selling them for a song.’
      • ‘Some 25 lakh vehicles ply the 4,000 km of Bangalore roads and are exploited by contractors to get the parking lots for a song.’
  • on song

    • informal Performing well.

      ‘when he is on song, no one can stop him’
      • ‘When he is on song, the team is on song and when we are not, he is as good as any of the rest of us when it comes to rolling up his sleeves and trying to dig out a result.’
      • ‘With Mike Hamshere on song, Westow's powerful batting line-up folded.’
      • ‘If, collectively, that group isn't on song come September, Torrance's chances of leading the side to victory are minimal.’
      • ‘He was really on song as he steamed in down the slope from the Kirkstall Lane end and before Warwickshire knew what had hit them he had grabbed three wickets for one run in his first 13 balls.’
      • ‘We played with enough confidence to have caused them more problems than we did but, ultimately, we fell foul of Michael Owen being back on song.’
      • ‘Scott Baker, a close-season capture from Carlton, was also on song with 2 for 17, while Ben Rogers top-scored for the home side with 42.’
      • ‘But, to win you've got to finish and since the last round Webbo has been burning the midnight oil to make sure the Suzuki engines are on song.’
      • ‘With the visitors clearly not on song and reduced to 10 men, John Lambie's players, urged on by a boisterous crowd, sensed that the game was theirs for the taking and set about the task in fine style.’
      • ‘When he is on song, he is excellent but when he is below par he can create problems for the rest of the team.’
      • ‘Now back on song, he should not be underestimated.’
      on top form, in the pink, in great shape, in the best of health
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  • a song and dance

    • 1A long explanation that is pointless or deliberately evasive.

      ‘Don't give me a song and dance, Sandy. Yes or no?’
      • ‘Regan didn't make a song and dance about getting drunk all the time.’
      • ‘With nothing to go on but a song and dance from Kelley, most are loathe to give it more than a 7 or 8 share.’
      • ‘I did what I could, but his attorney did a song and dance you wouldn't believe.’
      • ‘It was a song and dance that he had heard many times before.’
      • ‘We all deserve answers, not a song and dance about how hard the police work and how they don't get no respect.’
      • ‘It was a song and dance the two frequently engaged in.’
      1. 1.1British A fuss or commotion.
        ‘she would be sure to make a song and dance about her aching feet’
        • ‘Annabelle isn't one to make a song and dance about what she's doing, and she would go off doing all sorts of treks and endurance trails.’
        • ‘So if there's a chance for a regional city to make a song and dance about their local talent, then let them milk it for all it's worth.’
        • ‘People who have lived in the Dales for a long time know it's a lovely place and tend not to make a song and dance about it.’
        • ‘Even some investigating agencies make a song and dance about their findings and jail persons only to be acquitted later.’
        • ‘The latest group of entertainers to make a song and dance about their plight are actors, or ‘theatre practitioners’ as they must now be called.’
        • ‘Which is another reason why Orman was determined not to make a song and dance about his seizure.’
        • ‘But if others are going to make a song and dance about the levels of Scottish support, he is duty bound to respond.’
        • ‘When a British suburbanite sets off with a shotgun to see his ex-wife he doesn't make a song and dance about it.’
        • ‘The fact that he has to make a song and dance about it shows how far policing has moved away from what it should be doing.’
        • ‘They don't make a song and dance about it; they just do it.’
        fuss, fuss and bother, bother, commotion, trouble, rigmarole, folderol, ado, pother
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Origin

Old English sang, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zang and German Sang, also to sing.

Pronunciation

song

/sôNG//sɔŋ/